“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:14)
Yesterday we talked about the first thing we can do to get along with others and have great relationships. If you missed yesterday’s devotional, I highly recommend you go back and read it, because today, we’re going to continue the conversation and talk about two more vital steps to having great relationships.
The second thing we must learn to do is bear a commitment for others. Now if you are going to get along with anybody in any meaningful relationship you are going to have to do two things: you are going to have to bear with them and then you are going to have to forgive them. Now the verb “bear with” means “to put up with difficult people and difficult problems.” Everybody’s got to do it. Even Jesus had to do it.
Remember, Paul was writing to Christians, and he said even the best of you who love Jesus the most, sometimes you are going to disagree. Sometimes you are going to want to divide. You are going to get irritated and frustrated to the point where you are almost constipated. You are going to have to learn to put up with people and put up with their faults to get along.
Finally, to have strong relationships, we must share compassion with others. Paul wraps it up in a neat bow with this. “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14). Now when you put on all these clothes, they won’t stay on you unless you have a belt to keep them on. The belt that binds all of these things together is love. Love is the girdle. It is the glue that holds all these other virtues together. Love is the only thing that will keep your clothes on and keep you from taking any of them off.
Let me put it to you this way. Do you know what compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with others and forgiving others is? It is love in action. You can have some of these five pieces of clothes on and not have love, but it is impossible to not have love with all five pieces of the clothes on.
Dear Lord, thank you for Paul’s encouragement from the book of Colossians about how to have strong, God-honoring relationships. I pray that you would help me take his words to heart so that my relationships might glorify you and point others to you. Help me to bear the commitment for others and to share compassion with others by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.